By Jonathan Welsh

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Tesla Model S

The electric-powered Tesla Model S sedan will likely get more mainstream attention after receiving a score of 99 points out of 100 in a road test with Consumer Reports magazine.

Sure, it rides as smoothly as a luxury car and accelerates “like you’re sitting in the front of the Millennium Falcon,” according to the magazine’s road-test boss, Jake Fisher. But the most telling fact of the review is that the car’s range of more than 200 miles allowed Fisher to drive it home without worrying.

“My commute is about 75 miles, and I usually drop off the kids and maybe stop at the grocery store on the way,” Fisher said, noting that other electric cars on the market, like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, cannot reliably handle the trip to work and other errands without being recharged.

“If I’m driving the typical electric car, I’m sweating,” Fisher said.

He also said the range of 200 miles may be the threshold beyond which consumers will more readily consider buying electric cars because few drivers travel beyond that range in a day.

The Tesla has a range of 208 or 265 miles, depending on which battery option one orders. Its fuel-economy-equivalent rating from the Environmental Protection Agency is 95 miles per gallon.

Consumer Reports, which does not take advertising, tests all sorts of consumer products but is known in particular for its tough, practical auto tests, stingy scoring and a lack of emotion when sizing up even glamorous high-performance vehicles.

Fisher said the Tesla “scored 99 points as a car, not as an electric car.” The last vehicle to garner that score was the Lexus LS 460 L in 2007.

You can see the CR review here:

Related: Dan Neil has more details on Lunch Break.

By Jonathan Welsh